A little while ago, writer and noted Twilight aficionado Ashley Ford and I had a conversation for The Female Gaze on the topic of the first three Twilight movies and later, the end of the series with Breaking Dawn 1 and 2. TL;DR links are here and here.
If you’d like to ask WHY were were tackling the bloodless vampire loreless loveswoon, not particularly a sentence I imagined myself writing – this is it. It’s a question of wishing to be open to a predominantly female-build and powered romance that seems, from the outside, incredibly problematic and creepy. I’m much more of not-too-gory horror film fan (Hausu, The Shining, Don’t Look Now, Ringu, that sort of thing). And yet – Twilight. Is. Unsettling. Not for the ways it wants (perhaps?) Our chat was mostly light-hearted, but with a look at the racism, classism and internalised misogyny in the series – not to mention the incredible awkward sponginess of the whole thing, a romantic core that in my opinion, festers as much as it tries to perfume.
Here is a little taste:
HM: Oh, that’s another thing I wanted to discuss. It’s been bugging me – the vampire lore of these films. Okay, so vampires don’t have to be invited inside?
HM: They can just go in whenever they want?! It makes them so much more of a threat. Annihilation at any time is possible.
AF: Girl, let me just say, as far as vampire lore goes…these books and movies give zero shits about history.
AF: Stephanie Meyer MAYBE did some research on vampire lore, but when it was time to put it in the stories she said, “LOL NO.”
HM: I think if you give up on the key one of boundaries then you give up a lot of the tension, which is weird for me, since it’s all about tension, abstinence, being held back.
AF: That’s what it should be! Can you imagine if Edward had actually had to win her over? If he’d sat in the tree outside her home asking to be let in?
HM: Ahahaha, no. It would be a very different movie.
BUT there was even more of Twilight to poke at with a psuedo-analytic claw! Ashley and I tackled Breaking Dawn 1 and 2 – and, well. The honeymoon scene and following were deemed worthy of note (and laughter) but after that I began to be mired in the freakish question of Reneesmee (I refuse to double check the spelling – and I am presuming some knowledge of the vampire-human cutie pie, but don’t feel pressure to read up if you don’t want too).
My main wish is should (when, definitely when, sadly) Reneesmee happens to return, it will be under the directorship of a female David Lynch with a glint in her eye and a nice diner stage set in Forks, Washington.
Have you seen any of the films? Read the books? All of them?
(I ask both in puzzlement and in kindness)